Attorney general nominee Michael Mukasey’s confirmation hearings begin today. A month ago, you may recall, he was billed as the “consensus candidate” and a “safe bet” encouraged by Chuck Schumer’s positive words.
But with the nutroots-ifed Democrats, there’s no such thing as a “consensus candidate” and “safe bet.”
And the Left plans on turning the hearings into their own smorgasbord of grievances and demands:
“The nominee is not allowed to leave the [Judiciary] committee without making clear commitments,” said Chris Anders, the ACLU’s senior legislative counsel. “We are looking for yes-or-no answers.”
For scores of progressive organizations, Mukasey’s confirmation hearings are a long-awaited opportunity to air a dry cleaner’s worth of dirty laundry. Liberal groups want more information about the mismanagement of the Justice Department, the administration’s torture policies, a perceived lack of civil rights enforcement, illicit wiretapping and the sacking of nine U.S. attorneys.
Wednesday’s hearing is their first big chance to get some answers. Finally, the liberal lawyers say, they have a Democratic-led Congress and a besieged administration desperately in need of an easy confirmation process.
“We’re hoping the Senate Judiciary Committee shows some spine and doesn’t let this nominee roll them,” Anders said. “If there’s anything this committee should have learned from the Gonzales experience, it was to get clear commitments up front.”
The Vast Left Wing Conspiracy is cranked up to 11:
Hoping to avoid more missteps, Human Rights Watch, the ACLU, Service Employees International Union and dozens of other liberal groups banded together to prep Congress. The organizations analyzed Mukasey’s 18 years of published opinions. They shared their research with staffers, sending reports, briefing books and suggesting questions to the committee.
Pat Leahy’s questions are here. Leahy’s still clapping his hands and jumping up and down over the fact that the nominee is not Ted Olson.
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